The 5 Most Common Couple Communication Problems


Couples need to communicate effectively in order to resolve conflicts and maintain intimacy. Learn how to improve your relationship by improving your communication skills.

These come from the Gottman’s, in what they refer to as the Four Horsemen or relationship killers (plus one more they call out).

  1. Criticism

Criticism is more than just pointing out something your partner didn’t do. It’s pointing out a flaw with their character. It is talking about something that is part of their personality, values, or character. Partners who are criticized naturally use the second communication problem.

  1. Defensiveness

Not many people like to be criticized. Some people like constructive criticism after they have had a chance to think about it, but the knee-jerk reaction can be to get defensive.

  1. Contempt

Contempt is another level of criticism. It is holding oneself above the other. It is talking to your partner like they are inferior.

  1. Stonewalling

Some people think it’s better to ignore each other than risk an argument. This can create a very uncomfortable awkward silence that prevents you from connecting to your partner or solving problems.

  1. Not taking short breaks

There are times when a conversation just isn’t going to end well. While stonewalling is not the answer, agreeing to take a short break and come back at a set time can work wonders.

Here’s how to get back on track

If you’re having trouble communicating with your partner, here are some tips to help you work through any problems. First, try to identify what’s causing the problem. Is it something you’ve done? Something he has said? Or maybe it’s just a misunderstanding. Once you figure out what’s going on, talk about it calmly and rationally. Don’t yell or blame. Instead, focus on solving the issue together.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help.

It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. In fact, asking for help is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You’ll feel more confident and less stressed if you learn how to communicate effectively with others. And if you find yourself stuck in an argument, take a break and go outside for fresh air. This will give you both a chance to cool off and think clearly.